Raising chickens is a fun and rewarding pastime that will provide your family with fresh, nutritious eggs for years to come. Before you purchase your chicks, however, it’s time to build a chicken coop. There are many blueprints and designs available or, if you have the tools and motivation, you can design your coop entirely on your own.
Scope Out Your Property
Where would you like to build your chicken coop? It depends not only on terrain, but the location of other structures. In many cities or countries, chicken coops must be a certain distance away from all homes. A location downwind from your home will keep down smell. Local building codes may impact the size of your coop too. Before you set your heart on a particular design, check out your local rules and regulations and discover what is legal.
It’s also wise to consider one’s neighbors. Don’t build your coop close to neighboring homes. Your neighbors will quickly get upset with the smell. Also, if you have an open backyard where your neighbors will see your coop, it would be considerate to choose a design that’s pleasing to the eye.
Designing Your Chicken Coop
No matter what the chicken coop of your dreams looks like, it should include several basic things. Chickens need a place to roost, lay eggs, and move around for exercise. They must be protected from the elements as well as predators. Chickens must be kept warm in the winter and shouldn’t suffocate from heat in the summer. Chickens must have a clean place to eat and drink and also need ventilation. Doors and windows that can be opened for ventilation are a definite plus. If you’ve got these basics covered, your chicken coop can look any way you like.
Choosing a Design
There are thousands of chicken coop ideas and designs on the Internet, many for free. Sites such as http://greenterrafirma.com/chicken-coop.html suggest several coop designs as well as all the materials and instructions you’ll need to get the job done. This makes your job pretty simple. Find a free design you want, purchase your supplies at your local Home and Garden Store, and get to work. You could also purchase a chicken coop kit online, although in most cases the lumber is not included.
Building Your Coop
Building your first chicken coop can save you a lot of money and if you have basic carpentry skills it shouldn’t be a terribly difficult task. It’s a great way to get exactly the coop you want. Plans and instructions are available to help you along if need be. A poorly built chicken coop is more of a hazard than an asset.
There are three basic materials you’ll need for your coop: wood, chicken wire, and straw. You’ll also need basics like screws. Make a list of all the supplies you’ll need or order a supply kit and head to your home and garden store for whatever else you require before you begin. Take your time and do your best work. With a little time and a modest budget, you can truly create the chicken coop you’ve always wanted.